As we were waiting for Hurricane Matthew to arrive Friday night, I received a phone call from my daughter’s school notifying us that school would be closed on Monday. The recorded message began by saying, “We hope you are safe as we embrace Hurricane Matthew’s arrival.” I found the wording peculiar enough that I repeated it to my husband. The message didn’t use words like brace for or hunker down, but embrace.
Its little nuances like this that make Charleston, South Carolina so special. We embrace the storms and challenges that come our way knowing that something good will likely be on the other side. I began to think about the difference it can make in our personal life when we embrace the individual storms that come our way instead of bracing for or fighting against them.
I feel that Charleston was able to embrace Matthew because we were prepared for his arrival. Our Governor issued evacuations well in advance of the storm. These evacuation orders gave businesses permission to close and therefore our citizens permission to decide their course of action. We each had time to decide how we were going to personally respond to the storm. Those who chose to leave were able to get out of the storm’s path early. Those of us who decided to stay had plenty of time to board up and make sure we had what we needed to ride it out. Being prepared allowed us to embrace what was coming.
Being prepared in our personal lives helps us embrace and weather our individual storms as well. Being life-long learners and seeking constant personal development helps us to be prepared. Being open to change and always seeking what we can learn from a situation helps us to be prepared. Constantly gathering information and being willing to make decisions helps us to be prepared. Being open to receiving what God is sending our direction helps us to be prepared.
Whether you choose to evacuate or you choose to stay, being prepared enables you to embrace what lies ahead. And in the case of Hurricane Matthew, there will be calm, there will be blue skies, there will be rebuilding, and there will be a renewal of our city.